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Your Morning Matters: Getting ready for what’s next

We detail a Valley man's experiences on the path to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Good morning and welcome to Your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and as I mentioned, this week will mark a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic.

All too soon, we will all know someone who has the virus: a relative, a friend, a neighbor, a church member, a schoolmate, a co-worker, a social media acquaintance. More celebrities, even. And then we’ll be introduced to a whole new set of emotions, fears, illogical thoughts, etc. This new reality will attempt to erode our faith, our trust and maybe even our resolve. If we let it.

But, of course, we can’t.

Today we bring you the story of a Valley man who received news he both expected and feared on Tuesday. We are detailing his path so that others can be better prepared for their own. Our goal is to provide help in real time as new realities become archaic notions in a single day. And as you encounter your own paths, we encourage you to share so that others can learn.

Until tomorrow: Let’s be careful out there!  

Here are more of the things you need to know about what's happening in the Mahoning Valley:

A  61-year-old Valley man was one of the first people to be tested in the Cleveland Clinic/University Hospital drive-thru COVID-19 screening site in Mayfield Heights last week. A week later, he learned he tested positive for the virus. We detail his experiences on the path to diagnosis.

“It's all worth the testing,” he tells us. “You've just gotta be patient.”


  • Number of U.S. cases: 783 deaths; 54,905 confirmed cases, according to at 10 p.m. March 24.
  • Number of Ohio cases: 564 confirmed cases and eight deaths.
  • Number of Mahoning Valley cases: 32 confirmed; 28 in Mahoning County, 4 in Trumbull County.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 20,704.91, up 2,112.98 points, or 11.37 percent.

Other matters

Though state public health emergency powers give the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office the authority to enforce the governor’s stay-home order, Sheriff Jerry Greene said deputies likely won’t be cracking down. However, they will watch for groups of people congregating in public or nonessential businesses that remain open. Mahoning Matters

As the state hit 564 confirmed cases Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine straddled the political question of idled people vs. an idled economy by saying, "The truth is that protecting people and protecting the economy are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one depends upon the other." Mahoning Matters 

Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel and Provost Brien Smith answered questions Tuesday from students about how the remainder of the spring semester will be affected by COVID-19. Mahoning Matters

Mahoning County health officials say they are not surprised by the sudden jump in local COVID-19 cases. The numbers reinforce the need to follow Ohio’s new “stay at home” orders that went into effect at midnight Tuesday. WKBN

Valley chocolatiers are preparing for Easter by changing the way they do business. Gorant Chocolatier stores, for example, are not permitting anyone in the stores, but they are offering curbside pickup. WFMJ

In an effort to address supply chain shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic, America Makes is working to organize a central repository of the additive manufacturers who are ready to help. The Business Journal

The online version of Youngstown State University opened Monday. About 60 percent of YSU spring courses already had some online presence before the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting the other 40 percent online took 10 days. The Vindicator

During the Ohio’s Stay in Place Order, you can register for an online library card at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and access e-books, audio books, movies, music and games. WYTV

In case you missed it

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he’s reconsidering his order to shutter liquor stores as part of the state’s coronavirus mitigation effort. His state is the only one to close liquor stores, said Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Mahoning Matters

Your comments matter

“It was a little disturbing [because] the news showed them bagging food and they were not 6 feet apart.”

Tammy Wedge-Mckoy, on the Ohio National Guard assisting Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

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